CONTACT: STEPHEN PRADARELLI
100 Old Public Library
Iowa City IA 52242
(319) 384-0007; fax (319) 384-0024
Release: March 22, 2000
Yager invited to international science/technology education symposium
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- University of Iowa science education professor Robert
Yager is traveling to Penang, Malaysia, to take part next week in the International
Organization for Science and Technology Education's Southeast Asian Regional
The theme of the symposium is "Smart Partnerships in Science and Technology
Education: The Challenge in the 21st Century." The weeklong program is
jointly sponsored by the IOSTE, the Association for Science & Mathematics
Education, Penang, and the School of Educational Studies at the University
of Science, Malaysia.
Yager, a professor in the UI College of Education Division of Curriculum
and Instruction, is one of just three science education experts from around
the world invited to give a plenary speech during the weeklong symposium.
He plans to talk about the vision for science education in the United States,
including efforts to develop a more meaningful method of assessing students'
science skills. He said that 141 of the United Nations' member states have
placed science education at the top of their reform agenda.
"In some of these countries where the science scores are higher than
in the United States you'd think they'd be happy," Yager said. "But
they realize, as we do, that many of their students are only parroting what
Instead, Yager said, science educators want to find better ways to identify
and teach students so they can apply science concepts in real life.
Yager has also been asked to give several other lectures during the symposium
and to run a workshop showing how institutions involved in science education
can develop partnerships, something the UI science education department has
been doing for years. Last summer, for instance, 20 South Korean science teachers
spent two months at the University of Iowa assisting faculty with research,
visiting high school classrooms and redesigning curriculum for their own use
back home. Yager has also established collaborations with science educators
in Japan and Taiwan.
The IOSTE was established to advance the cause of education in science and
technology as a vital part of the general education of people of all countries
and to provide scholarly exchange and discussion in the field of science and
technology education. The organization, which has membership in more than
60 countries, has achieved recognition by UNESCO as an official non-governmental